The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean, with Malta 93km south of Sicily and 288km north of Africa. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino with a total population of 400,000 inhabitants over an area of 316sq km and a coastline of 196.8km (not including 56.01 km for the island of Gozo).
Malta is the largest island and the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. Gozo is the second largest island and is more rural, characterised by fishing, tourism, crafts and agriculture while Comino is largely uninhabited.
With superbly sunny weather, expansive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do. With a little help from any guidebook, captivating places of interest are immediately identified – the world famous Hypogeum selected as a place of World Heritage by UNESCO, prehistoric temples and grand palaces are but a few.
True to the melting pot of cultural influences, the national languages are English and Maltese.
Malta’s climate is strongly influenced by the sea and is typical of the Mediterranean. The Islands have a very sunny climate with a daily average of five to six hours sunshine in mid-winter to around 12 hours in summer.
Winters are mild, with the occasional short chilly period brought about by the north and north-easterly winds from central Europe.
Summers are hot, dry and very sunny. Day-time temperatures in summer are often mitigated by cooling sea breezes, but in spring and autumn a very hot wind from Africa occasionally brings unseasonally high temperatures and humidity. This is known as the Sirocco, or, in Maltese, the Xlokk – this wind affects Greece and Italy as well; in Malta the air is generally drier because of the short sea track from the African coast.
Annual rainfall is low, averaging 568mm a year, and the length of the dry season in summer is longer than in neighbouring Italy. Sea bathing is quite possible well in to the ‘winter’ months, and the peak beach season can last until mid- to late October.
European residents need a valid identity card.
Malta is +2 hrs from the GMT time.
The electrical supply is 240 volts, 50 hertz. The three-pin rectangular plug system is used, as in Britain. Adapters are very easy to find.
The long relationship between the Islanders and the various nationalities that occupied Malta over the centuries has created a marriage of styles and traditions, giving the Islands a fascinating eclectic culture.
Religion & Worship
The Majority of the Maltese are Roman Catholic, but other religious denominations are also represented. There are small Anglican, Church of Scotland, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Methodists and Muslim communities.
The official languages are Maltese and English. Maltese is a language of Semitic origin written in the Latin script. Over the centuries, it has incorporated many words derived from English, Italian and French. Italian is also widely spoken.
Malta International Airport is located between the villages of Luqa and Gudja, 10kms from Valletta.
Currency and banks
The currency in Malta is the Euro. Banks are normally open until early afternoon from Monday to Friday, and until midday on Saturday.
Exchange bureaux at Malta International Airport are open 24 hours a day. International bankcards are accepted and foreign currency is easily exchanged. Banks, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and exchange bureaux can be found all over the Islands.
Malta is packed with beautiful sightseeing and we can also offer customised packages for guided tours around the Maltese islands. We can guarantee a great cultural experience in which the students are exposed to some of the best views of the islands such as the Ġgantija Temples, Calypso Cave, Victoria and the Cittadella among others.